Chelsea began play at Stamford Bridge with the impetus we have not seen in recent weeks, especially when playing against Tottenham away. Leeds simply could not find their out of their own half without finding a bunch of men in blue shirts hounding them around and recovering the ball for the hosts.
Chances for Chelsea to score after a long draught of goals were plenty, but the best came from Kai Havertz — who shot it straight at Leeds shot-stopper Illan Meslier on a great 1v1 opportuniy — and João Félix, whose great attempt hit the crossbar. In the final minutes Leeds would wake up to battle and keep possession, but nothing was done on their end to really threaten a change in the scoreline.
In the second half Chelsea returned with the same impetus of before. Soon a goal would be found on a great corner taken by Ben Chilwell, with Wesley Fofana rising to meet the ball and put it into the back of the net.
The goal put Chelsea in a nervous state, trying their hardest to hang onto the slim lead as Kepa was put to work in front of Leeds’ pressure. We went as far as moving from the 3-4-3 to a 5-4-1 with the wing-backs joining the defensive line after a couple of substitutions.
And at the end of it... it all worked out.
- Back in a 3-4-3, with both Reece James and Thiago Silva out of contention due to injury.
- Subs are Conor Gallagher for João Félix, Denis Zakaria for Raheem Sterling, Carney Chukwuemeka for Mateo Kovacic, Noni Madueke for Enzo Fernández, and Trevoh Chalobah for Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
- Good first impression left by the Blues in at least two thirds of the first half. That is what we want to see from whatever Graham Potter’s “project” is!
- João Félix has been so unlucky. No wonder he left the pitch looking far from pleased with himself.
- Wesley Fofana had already looked dangerous on corners, and today he confirms it with a great header.
- Parking the bus is something many look down upon, while forgetting we were the ones who spread the habit many years ago. Anything to lock a win!
- Beginning March with a win is all Chelsea (and Graham Potter!) needed.
- Next up: Borussia Dortmund at home in the Champions League.